Things Longed For


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Scene Title Things Longed For
Synopsis Malachi and his sister discuss the fact that she's in love, and touch on a past he'd rather forget.
Date January 13, 1890

The Smith Inn

"This is a house full of longin'," Malachi's voice said from behind his sister's perch by her upstiars window. "Missus Thatcher longs for her husband, Tim longs for Missus Thatcher, and you long for Tim. Makes me wonder who Miz Smith is longin' for." He was teasing her, of course.

Deborah looked out at the yard below, where Timothy was chopping some wood, a little sigh escaping her lips. "I think sometimes he forgets I'm even here," she replied, trying to hide the heartache in that sentence with a little smile. "I wish he wasn't so handsome."

Malachi laughed and pulled over a chair to sit next to her. "So why don' you let him know you're here, Deb?" "Oh, I couldn't… I couldn't do anything… ostentatious, you know that." "You're too worried about bein' proper. You think it's proper, him chasin' the skirt of a married woman? Even if her husband is dead or jus' never comin' back… she's made it clear she ain't interested, you think anythin' in this situation is proper?"

It was a question that made Deborah pause for a long moment, her gaze turning back out the window again. "Just because this situation or these people are improper doesn't mean I should be, too. When we got here, you remember what you said? About starting fresh? New reputations, none of the darkness from before? Charles and the fire and all those little tragedies…" "And big ones." "And big ones. They don't have to change us anymore. When we hit times when we couldn't be proper, it made the luxury of being so far more important."

"So you'll sit here and long until he remembers you're here, that's the plan?" "Yes." "It's a bad plan, Deb." "I know it. I can't tell you how much I long for Kaylee's Joesph to show up." Malachi reached over to pat his sister's cheek, comfortingly. "I'm sorry men are so blind, Deborah. Always wantin' what they can't have. Kaylee's got a tragic tale, she came here needin' so much help and she's so… sad. He feels needed. Like she's someone he can take care of. And addin' to all that the fact that she's gone and made herself untouchable…" "You don't have to explain it, Mal," Deborah said in a soft voice, hurt.

"Well, I'm jus' sorry, is all," Malachi said before he pulled his hand back and leaned back in his chair, posture slumping. He'd always hated upsetting her.

The pair sat in this silence for long moments, Deborah looking out at what she couldn't have, but desperately wanted and Malachi's thoughts turned inward to all that darkness, all those hurts that led them to this moment. This situation. "Maybe if I wasn' here takin' care of you… he'd see there was a need for someone else to," he eventually said, and Deborah sat up straighter, looking over at her brother, "Don't be ridiculous." "Well, you won't do nothin' to pull his attention from Kaylee-" "Don't."

He folded his arms and let out a sigh of his own, falling back into silence. Bitter silence. So when his sister spoke up again, it jarred him. On several levels.

"What is it you're longing for, Ginny?" It was a softly spoken question, a secret between them.

"Ginny's dead, Deborah," Malachi said as he stood to his feet, his voice harsh now, unbending. "We left her buried in Arizona. A whore and a murderer. You're not doin' her any favors tryin' to keep her alive."

He didn't like upsetting her, so while quiet tears fell down his sister's face, he got up and left the room gruffly, but silently. The things he longed for, after all, were as unattainable as Kaylee's husband or Deborah's romance. More so, even, because he couldn't go back and change the past.

He could only bury it.

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